Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family hit the streets again in this maddeningly mind-blowing spectacle of cars, cool weapons and colossal civilian property destruction. The tenth addition to the Fast and Furious franchise focuses more on the messy history that intertwines the lives of Toretto and Dante Reyes.
The movie opens in Los Angeles where the Toretto family gather around Abuelita Toretto, the majestic matriarch of the family. With what seems like a foreshadowing prophecy, she makes a toast to the goodwill of everyone and the never-ending legacy of their family. Dom is also seen to be training his son to uphold the decade-old legacy of their family. The team then gets split and sent on a mission to Rome with Roman as the mission's leader. Everything goes downhill from there.
From hijacked trucks loaded with bombs, gold plated cars to exquisitely choreographed annihilation of the streets of Rome, the scenes are a treat to watch. Stunts that defy the laws of physics and mechanical engineering are not surprising anymore in the world of Fast and Furious, after all the whole world witnessed Roman and Tej drive a car to space. Everything can be satisfactorily summarised in the words of Agent Ames himself, "If it could be done in a car, they did it. If it violates the laws of god and gravity, they did it twice."
A very interesting addition to the mix this time is the follow-up of the Hernan Reys story (The antagonist in Fast Five). Jason Momoa is Dante Reyes, the sole heir and successor to the insanely rich drug lord. Calling Reyes's son a madman on wheels would be the understatement of the century. The venomous thirst to uphold his family legacy, instilled in him by his late father, plays a huge role in motivating him to quite literally blow apart a whole city just to see Toretto suffer.
Fast X features all the usual jaw-dropping spectacle that one would expect from the 22-year-old franchise. It is interesting to see how former antagonists are given a new role to play. Cipher, ever since her introduction in Fast and Furious 6, was notorious for being loyal to nobody and working solo. In Dante's own words, she barely has anyone she lives for or cares about, "not even a kitty cat".
It is interesting to see the same Cipher, a criminal mastermind and cyber-terrorist with no worldly attachments, work together with Letty Toretto to execute a prison break. The overarching theme of family is still relevant here. It is the trademark of the Fast and Furious series after all. The eerily saddening lines of "you can't save everybody" and the trolley problem-esque split-second decisions that heavily weigh on the main Torettos conscience are, as pointed out by Dante, the biggest pitfalls of having a huge family.
The whole plot of Fast X centres around a few highlighted tropes. A mad man out to avenge his only family, a team of ragtag street racers who grew to be each other's family, and treacherously swaying loyalties. One witnesses the law going berserk, justice flowing down the drain, heroes being branded criminals and a new era taking shape right in front of their eyes.
Fast X is a Pandora's box of expected surprises but it is still worth the watch. The rumoured to be triology's part one leaves the viewer adequately hanging, wanting for more. Fans have made peace with the fact that a lot of questions will remain unanswered. With the resurrection of characters as a running theme, it is quite understandable if the fans do not want to print out an obituary notice for their favourites just yet.
Film: Fast X
Director: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Vin Diesel, Jason Momoa, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena